October 5, 2009 / 5:08 AM / 9 years ago

"Wombat!" the warning on world's longest golf course

SYDNEY (Reuters Life!) - Golfers eager for a new challenge can now play on the world’s largest golf course in Australia, which spans 1,365 km (848 miles) across desert, goldfields and an outback sheep station.

Nullabor Links, the 18-hole, par-72 course stretches across two Australian states and offers golfers a rare opportunity to challenge their game against a prevailing wind and on fairways with wombat holes.

“It’s not your normal Royal Melbourne or St. Andrews, this is totally different. It’s a golfing experience with so much to do and see,” project manager Alf Caputo told Reuters.

The course, which has its official opening tournament on October 22, runs along the Eyre Highway, the main route linking South and Western Australia and can be played from either end: the coastal town of Ceduna in South Australia or the former gold mining town of Kalgoorlie in Western Australia.

Roadside hotel owner Bob Borgiorno and Caputo of Eyre Highway Operators Association first thought of building the course in 2004 to encourage motorists to stop and spend some time and money along the route.

Construction began in 2005, and the course offers not only challenging golf, but an opportunity to experience Australian wildlife first-hand.

The par-five fourth hole, at Nundroo, has the largest population of southern hairy nosed wombats in Australia. It is also where players hit against a prevailing wind.

“A professional who recently played Wombat hole said not even Tiger Woods would able to do it,” Caputo said.

“You can see kangaroos, emus, wombats, camels and all sorts of wildlife but no crocs. There’s no crocodiles to be found on the Nullabor Links.”

It costs about A$200 (US$173.5) in petrol to play the course while a few balls are likely to be stolen by the resident crow at Dingo’s Den on the fifth hole.

“They’ve had people man the hole and the crow still pinches it,” Caputo said. “It would never happen anywhere else except central Australia.”

Editing by Miral Fahmy and Greg Stutchbury

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